Lucknow: The Durga Puja pandals in Uttar Pradesh this year have chosen themes to raise voice against female foeticide and atrocities against women, issues which have been in focus after a string of such crimes in the state.
Bondhu Mahal, a social organisation, has decided "Celebrate Girl Child" as its theme for its maiden Durga Puja celebration this year. Several other puja pandals at different places in Uttar Pradesh have decided to take up issues related to women and girls.
"The endeavour would include taking a written pledge from the visitors to keep the interest of the girl child uppermost in their mind. A copy of the written pledge will be sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav," president of Bondhu Mahal Jayanto Pramanik said.
He said that the frills of entertainment during puja celebrations will go hand in hand with creating awareness on an issue which was more relevant today.
Considering the large turnout at these events, the organisers feel that they are the right venue for reaching out to people.
"As Maa Durga is a women so we decided to highlight the issue of save girl child," Jayanto said, adding that they were planning to take help from some women organisations too.
Another such cause would be highlighted in puja celebrations in Barabanki district.
"The Navdurga Samiti of Barabanki will focus on acid attack victims this year," convenor of puja committee T K Roy said.
He said that the Samiti would be holding a debate on the demand for ban on acid. The event will be judged by acid attack survivors Kavita and Meena Soni.
Jayanto said that besides putting up banners for awareness, people will be provided counselling on the issue of girl child.
"We have taken the help of a few women organisations and we plan to have banners on both sides of the road on the issue that lead to the main pandal. We want the visitors to ponder on why these banners have been put up when they come to the pandal. Once inside the pandal these visitors will be counselled on the issue and then made to write the written pledge," he said.